Facebook returns to its college roots, Alexa gets a printing feature and we take a deep dive into Unity’s business. This is your Daily Crunch for September 10, 2020.
The big story: Facebook launches a college-only network
If you’re old and decrepit like me, you remember when Facebook was only for college students and required a college email address to join. Well, it seems everything old is new again, because the company is piloting a new feature called Facebook Campus … which is only for college students and requires a college email address to join.
Facebook’s Charmaine Hung argued that the product is particularly relevant now: “With COVID-19, we see that many students aren’t returning to campus in the fall. Now, classes are being held online and students are trying to react to this new normal of what it’s like to connect to clubs and organizations that you care about, when you’re not together.”
Of course, this could also be a way for Facebook to try to stay relevant to a younger demographic, before they move on to other apps.
The tech giants
Amazon launches Alexa Print, a way to print lists, recipes, games and educational content using your voice — The feature works with any second-generation Echo device or newer, as well as a range of printers.
Google says it’s eliminating Autocomplete suggestions that target candidates or voting — The company says that it will now remove any Autocomplete predictions that seem to endorse or oppose a candidate or a political party, or that make a claim about voting or the electoral process.
Microsoft Surface Duo review — Brian Heater calls it a beautiful, expensive work in progress.
Startups, funding and venture capital
Orchard real estate platform raises $69 million Series C led by Revolution Growth — Orchard (formerly Perch) launched in 2017 with a mission to digitize the entire experience of buying and selling a home.
How Unity built a gaming engine for the future — Eric Peckham offers an in-depth look at the company’s financials as it prepares to go public.
India’s Zomato raises $100M from Tiger Global, says it is planning to file for IPO next year — In an email to employees, CEO Deepinder Goyal said the food delivery startup has about $250 million cash in the bank, with several more “big name” investors preparing to join the current round.
Advice and analysis from Extra Crunch
Use ‘productive paranoia’ to build cybersecurity culture at your startup — We asked Casey Ellis, founder, chairman and chief technology officer at Bugcrowd, to share his ideas for how startups can improve their security posture.
What’s driving API-powered startups forward in 2020? — It’s not hard to find startups with API-based delivery models that are doing well this year.
(Reminder: Extra Crunch is our subscription membership program, which aims to democratize information about startups. You can sign up here.)
Announcing the Startup Battlefield companies at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 — This is our most competitive batch to date.
$3 million Breakthrough Prize goes to scientist designing molecules to fight COVID-19 — David Baker’s work over the last 20 years has helped validate the idea that computers can help us understand and create complex molecules like proteins.
Recorded music revenue is up on streaming growth, as physical sales plummet — With vastly more people stuck inside seeking novel methods of entertainment, paid subscriptions are up 24% year-over-year.
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